ICE London Festival Displayed Models in Highly Sexualized Outfits

February 17, 2020 John Isaac

The international trade show of the gambling industry has been shot by lawmakers over the use of scantily clad women and racial stereotyping, given the event organizer’s determination to improve its profile.

Models posing with gamblers

Sexism in gambling industry © essosgallos/Flickr

Most of the exhibitions at the ICE London festival, an international exhibition held at London’s ExCel hub for the multinational gambling industry, were met with models in highly sexualized and provocative outfits.

Minimum two exhibitors introduced white actors disguised in traditional East Asian or Egyptian outfits to advertise casino items such as slot machines or roulette touchscreens. One company shows off its relationship with Playboy at a women’s stand clad in the glamorous “Bunny” costumes that were made popular by the Playboy clubs and casinos back in This follows two years after the Guardian reported that gambling companies were disobeying a call to crack down on sexist language from the then chief executive of the UK Gambling Commission, Sarah Harrison.

Speaking in 2018, Harrison stated that the gathering was marked by men representing their companies wearing luxurious tailored suits while their female colleagues were expected to wear nothing except swimsuits.

Clarion Gaming Promised to Solve the Issue

Days after her remarks, the Guardian announced that pole dancers and a Playboy-themed performance had welcomed visitors at the 2018 gathering, with hostesses claiming to have been harassed and refused. Clarion Gaming, the organizer of the event, offered to take care of the problem and avoid a repeat, having Kate Chambers, chief executive, pledging a cultural change. Although this year’s event does not feature a pole dancing stage, many of the stands at the 2020 festival still use women as exhibition models to expose outfits, although business talks mostly occurred between men in suits.

One group, EGT Gaming of Bulgaria, has employed western actors dressed as Chinese or Egyptian. A few models in catsuits spent most of the day posing alongside slot machines for photos with suit-clad men Czech company Kajot had a stand-in Nearby commercial where three women in luxury catsuits with tails also posed for gift shop shots.

Interblock, which produces electronic casino table games, revealed a relationship with Playboy at a large display in which at minimum six women dressed as Playboy bunnies were accessible to smile for the camera with exhibition participants. Global gaming firm FBM hired a woman dressed in the traditional Japanese costume while the woman herself was not a Japanese.

The Models Were Hired by Modeling or Acting Companies

Many of the women told that they had been hired by modeling or acting companies, whose identities they pleaded not to be released for fear of losing jobs. St Albans ‘ Lord Bishop said the gambling industry had been wrong to rely so much on sexist propaganda.

“Gambling firms are currently free to advertise their products and market their companies in a large freeway. With that freedom comes responsibility. Sexualized objectification, in any form, is totally unacceptable for any industry, particularly one that has been repeatedly warned about their marketing behavior” – shared him.

Condemnation of conduct at the industry’s annual trade show comes the same day that a House of Lords select committee challenged the executives of the UK’s biggest gambling companies over scandals like VIP programs, the use of non-disclosure deals and ads.

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